As you navigate through NYU, you may come across some unfamiliar terms or acronyms. This glossary can help you demystify some of those terms, connect you to more information, and get you or your student on their way to success.

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The office responsible for tasks related to registration, certifications, graduation, transcripts, enrollment verifications, and academic record keeping. Students can meet in-person with representatives from the Registrar at the StudentLink Centers or contact the Registrar online for more information.


The process of signing up for classes. The NYU Academic Calendar lists registration dates and deadlines for each academic year. Students can search and sign up for classes online using Albert and undergraduate students should meet with their academic advisors prior to registration.

Remote Course

All of the instruction is online, whether the course meets at a designated time (synchronous), is self-paced (asynchronous), or a combination of both. Though wholly online, these courses will retain their usual enrollment size and students will have opportunities for regular engagement with the professor.

Residential Life and Housing Services

Also known as Res Life, an office responsible for the overall administration and operation of NYU’s residence halls (also called dorms), home to approximately 11,000 undergraduate and graduate students during the academic year. Res Life also provides services and programming for students living on campus.

Resident Assistant (RA)

Students who live and work in the residence halls to support their peers. They connect students to other resources, host events, enforce quiet hours, and help resolve rooming/roommate issues. NYU RAs are compensated with a housing/dining grant that covers the cost of room and board.



A type of class that is primarily readings- and discussion-based, typically with a smaller total number of students per class. Students generally take a mix of seminars and lectures during their time at NYU.

Student Government Assembly (SGA)

NYU’s overarching student government organization that aims to improve students’ experiences. The SGA is composed of the Student Senators Council (SSC), which focuses on school policies, and the Presidents Council (PC), which focuses on programming and engagement. The SGA helps represent concerns from individual school councils, large social groups on campus, and other campus organizations within the larger University administration.

Shopping Cart

During registration, students can log in to Albert and use the Shopping Cart feature to mark any classes they’re interested in taking for the current or upcoming term.

Student Information Systems (SIS)

Tools that universities use to track and record student data, such as financial aid packages, degree progress, and more. Albert performs these functions at NYU.


The Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York City is an 850-seat theater that houses talks, live theater, literary readings, dance, comedy, and more. Skirball also houses a box office where members of the NYU community can purchase discounted tickets for a variety of events around New York City.

Speaking Freely

A free language instruction program available to the NYU community. The 75-minute language coaching sessions at different levels meet once a week for approximately ten weeks each semester at locations around the Washington Square Park campus.

School of Professional Studies (SPS)

School offering a wide variety of areas of study for graduate, undergraduate, and non-degree seeking students that emphasize professional development. Degree and certificate programs offered in-person and online include real estate, sports management, and hotel and tourism management, among many others.


NYU’s school of Culture, Education, and Human Development. This interdisciplinary school integrates education, communication, health, and the arts with an emphasis on social change and houses more than 200 degree programs for undergraduate and graduate students.


STEM is a term for classifying fields of academic study and careers oriented around Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.


NYU’s business school that offers programs of study in business, accounting, finance, marketing, and economics (among others) at the undergraduate and graduate level.

Student Health Center (SHC)

Offers a range of physical and mental health services to all NYU students. The SHC, which includes the Wellness Center, offers urgent care for medical issues that require immediate attention, primary care services like check-ups and routine exams, free flu shots, HIV and other STI testing and counseling, among other services.


Service center that houses the offices of the Registrar, Global Programs, Financial Aid, Global Services, and Bursar. Students may speak with a StudentLink Counselor concerning this such as billing questions, financial aid eligibility, study away options, enrollment and degree verifications and more.

Student Success

An office that aims to help all students thrive at NYU by providing academic support, individualized counseling, and technological resources to help them meet their academic, personal, and professional goals. This office also oversees NYU Connect, an online platform that makes it easy to find resources, schedule meetings, and track success in and out of the classroom.

Study Away

Sometimes called Study Abroad, study away is when students choose to spend one or more semesters studying at an NYU site outside of their home campus. Students can choose to study at one of NYU’s campuses in other countries and cities including Abu Dhabi, Accra, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Florence, London, Madrid, Paris, Prague, Shanghai, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Washington DC, Los Angeles, or at another affiliated university.  

Summer Session

A period over the Summer where undergraduate and graduate students can take NYU courses. During the summer session, courses are usually, but not always, offered in three-, six-, and twelve-week durations. Courses usually include condensed material that is usually presented over the course of an entire semester into a much shorter period of time.


During the add/drop period, students may join the waitlist for a course they want to take by setting up a “swap.” This feature in Albert allows students to register for another course as a placeholder (to ensure that they remain enrolled full-time) and automatically switches the waitlisted course with the placeholder once a seat opens up.


A document that instructors use to provide students in their class with a general overview of the class for that semester. Syllabi generally include contact information for the instructor and their office hours, a course description, the instructor’s expectations and policies, required materials like books or other supplies, an overview of major and minor assignments, and a general schedule for the term.

Synchronous Course

A course that is taught online with real-time virtual sessions where all course participants log in simultaneously.



NYU’s School of Engineering is a Brooklyn-based hub for engineering and the applied sciences. Students may pursue degrees in subjects ranging from applied physics and biomedical engineering to technology management and innovation.

Teaching Assistant (TA)

Commonly called a TA, teaching assistants are usually a graduate student who aids a professor in the instruction of a class. Generally, TAs help grade papers, hold office hours to answer questions about homework and other assignments, and often lead discussion sections. TA’s employed on a temporary contract by a department at a college or university in teaching-related responsibilities.


An academic appointment granted to a faculty member that offers them a permanent post to the University and academic freedom. A tenured post is an indefinite academic appointment that can be terminated only for cause or under extraordinary circumstances. Tenure is a means of defending the principle of academic freedom, which holds that it is beneficial for society in the long run if scholars are free to hold and examine a variety of views through their role with a University. Before faculty are granted tenure, there is an extensive review process.  

Term Withdrawal

A term withdrawal means you are withdrawing from all of your classes for a term. A term withdrawal requested after the drop/add deadline of the term will result in W grades on your transcript. This can only be requested after the add/drop deadline. Students may request a term withdrawal through Albert or by speaking with their academic advisor.


NYU’s School of the Arts offering courses in performing, cinematic, and media arts. Tisch’s alumni include Lady Gaga, Anne Hathaway, Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, and Alec Baldwin.

Total Withdrawal

A total withdrawal means you intend to stop your studies at the University before completing your program, and do not intend to return for a future term. A total withdrawal requested after the drop/add deadline of the term will result in W grades on your transcript.


A complete record of all courses a student has completed, including the final grades earned, at an educational institution. A transcript will also list the student’s Grade Point Average (GPA) and any awards or degrees granted by that institution.  

Transfer Credit

Credits awarded from another college or university that can be applied to a student’s NYU degree. Not all transfer credits from outside schools can be used toward an NYU degree, so students should speak with their academic advisor about which will count toward their degree program.


The cost of attending an institution, usually calculated by the number of credit hours a student takes in a given semester. At NYU, a student’s tuition may also depend on which school they attend. Tuition does not include the cost of housing, dining, textbooks, or other expenses.


University Learning Center (ULC)

The university-wide center where students can go for academic support. The ULC offers both individual, one-to-one tutoring as well as group sessions to support you in a variety of ways, in a variety of courses.


Visiting Student

A temporary student who may take courses, join student organizations, and participate in study away or pre-college programs while not working toward a degree at NYU.



After a course has reached its capacity, or maximum number of seats for students, students may join the waitlist to be automatically enrolled in the course should another student drop the class and space becomes available. Joining a waitlist does not guarantee a seat in the class, students on a class waitlist should always enroll in other courses as a backup.

Wasserman Center for Career Development

The Wasserman Center is where you will go for support with career development. Wasserman helps students explore, prepare and connect with meaningful career opportunities, regardless of a student's school or major. Wasserman supports students through job and internship fairs, career coaching, seminars on interviewing skills and resume/cover letter writing, and they operate Handshake, an online job search tool. Wasserman also assists students with finding work-study, part-time, internship, and full-time jobs, both on campus and off.  

Wellness Exchange

A 24/7 mental health resource for the NYU community. Call the 24-hour hotline at (212) 443-9999, chat via the Wellness Exchange app anytime, make a virtual appointment, or "stop by" during our virtual drop-in hours to speak with a certified counselor. Students can discuss any day-to-day challenges or health concerns, including medical issues, stress, depression, sexual assault, anxiety, alcohol or drug dependence, and eating disorders.


Formally unenrolling from a course. This happens after the add/drop deadline has passed (refer to the pertinent academic calendar for exact dates). Courses that students have withdrawn from do not receive credit and appear on their transcripts with a “W” grade. A “W” grade does not impact a student’s Grade Point Average (GPA), but it may impact their degree progress, financial aid, and/or visa status. Students should speak with their advisor if they are considering withdrawing from a class.

Work Study

A federal program that gives money to NYU to create part-time employment for undergraduate and graduate students. Your New York University financial aid package may provide Work-Study eligibility in addition to scholarships and loans. If you’re eligible to participate in the Federal Work-Study Program, you will be given a set amount of money you can earn through approved jobs that provide you with 15 to 20 hours of work each week. Work-Study jobs are not guaranteed. Your Work-Study earnings will be paid directly to you on a bi-weekly basis. Generally, these earnings are used for books, transportation, and personal expenses.

Writing Center

A center where any NYU student may get help with their academic writing. The Writing Center is a part of NYU’s Expository Writing Program in the College of Arts and Science. Open to all students, the Writing Center is a place where one-on-one teaching and learning occur, as students from across the University work closely with faculty consultants and experienced, senior peer tutors at every stage of the writing process and on any piece of writing except for exams.

Note: These are not official NYU definitions, but are rather designed to be a helpful clarifying guide for students and their families. This glossary is meant to be a living resource, and we welcome thoughts and feedback on definitions and terms presented. Please email us at with your suggestions.